Business

Be Mindful Of Your Expectations

I recently went to my first Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals event.  It turned out to be a much better networking event then I had expected, which was pleasantly surprising, and I was able to meet a handful of pretty awesome folks.  There was a handful of great things about the event and I may post about those things another time, but for today… I wanted to talk about my expectations going in.
Let me ask a question before I go further.  Have you ever been to a movie and had extremely high expectations going in, only to in the end leave the theater disappointed?  Yet, when you talked to your friends about the movie the next day they were blown away.  One of the main reasons for this is because of expectations.  I have gone into movies with low expectations and been pleasantly surprised and I have gone in with high expectations and been sorely disappointed.  Last night was more of the disappointed for me, but that is on me.
I was connected to this group by a friend and I went in with the purpose to talk to a few key people about an idea that I had to add value to the group. I know… stupid.  That thought process is against all that I always talk about, but sometimes impatience and our past lives can get the better of us.  The one saving grace though is that I was texting a friend before the event and as I was doing this I caught myself about to make a big mistake… going in looking for the sale.  Since I caught myself having too high of expectations I was able to temper them a little, but not fully, and that is why I walked away a little disappointed in the whole thing.
No matter the event you are going to, even if you are the keynote speaker, make sure you temper your expectations.  A guardrail that I am going to have in place is to go in wanting to share in at least one persons story. That doesn’t mean that I will do business with them eventually, it just means that I will pay attention to them and actually let them be heard.  If I can offer advice, fantastic.  If it leads to us connecting later on, great. If I can offer a smile, awesome.  The outcome doesn’t really matter.  I just know that from now on I am going to go in expecting to share in at least one persons story and let the rest fall where it may.
I am glad that I had that conversation with my friend beforehand because if I would have went in hot with barrels blazing, I would have missed the opportunity to connect with two pretty awesome guys that work five minutes from where I do.
Remember to check your expectations at the door because you don’t want to ruin a perfectly good experience.
Business

Make The Call: Grow your community and knowledge by genuinely caring about others.

Life is infinitely better together and I think that is something we can all agree on. As true as that is, it still seems that people are living their lives more and more in isolation and behind screens.  Let me encourage you to do something a little cray cray… pick up the phone and make a call.  I honestly don’t care to whom, just make the call.

Good, now that we have started to loosen up, I want you to do something really crazy.  What I need you to do is think about the people you interact with on social media or those you work with, but have only talked with through email.  Narrow it down to one person, and give them a call.  Don’t have their number? Doesn’t matter.  Reach out and ask for it.  Don’t make this some weird awkward hopeful date thing.  This is a you genuinely caring about another human being that you have done life with kind of a thing.

I have been able to do this a handful of times over the past couple of months and it has been such a great learning opportunity.  Here are just a handful of things I have learned:

  1. Know your personal brand. This gives clarity for the big and small decisions we’ll make.
  2. Patience, mixed with realistic expectations, is what will help you as you navigate business and the need to not only provide for your family, but also close deals and provide for your customers.
  3. Vague beginnings lead to chaotic endings.
  4. Culture is everything.  Make sure it is their from the beginning of your business and not something you halfheartedly add at the end.

These four brilliant nuggets of gold are what I have learned from others.  Please, do us all a favor and grow your network and community by authentically caring about others and getting to know them.  One last word of caution.  Don’t go into these conversations trying to dig out some brilliant life lesson.  Go into the conversation with some general questions and direction, but let it go where it goes.

Who do you need to call? What did you learn?

Culture

For Better or Worse, In Sickness and in Health

 

These past 11 days have been rather unique.  I recently had surgery on my hip… yes, I am 31 years old and had to get some work done on my right hip.  Even though it was outpatient surgery it still shook things up quite a bit.  I have been on crutches, unable to drive, limited in some of my functions and mobility, and have had to be far less active than I normally am.  Through all of these changes and issues, my wife has been a freaking beast and has killed it.

“For better or worse, in sickness and in health.”  Most of us whom are married have uttered these words, and over these past 11 days my wife has perfectly executed on them.  I am blown away at her level of service and how she so deeply cared for me.  She met my every need and then some. She was always there asking what I needed and offered up help and solutions to problems and wants I didn’t even know that I had

It’s in these inciting incidents, these moments of giant change, when we as people can really shine and make an impact, and that is what my wife did.  It has encouraged me to take my game up to 11 and serve her not because of what she has done for me, but because she is more than worth it.  When you are served and loved in this way, it only encourages you to do the same.  So please let this blog not only honor my wife, but be an encouragement to you to honor those words, “For better or worse, in sickness and in health.” Let this blog be an encouragement to look around you and serve well those that are in your life.

Who is in your life that you need to serve well, and how can you live it out today?

Community

The Importance Of Solid Friendships

The best kind of friends are the ones that jump in and help without asking any questions. They are the ones that will do anything for you and they add so much richness to your life. These are the people you would help move mountains and recommend to anyone.  If we want to surround ourselves with these types of rich relationships, we need to start looking at interactions with others not as opportunities for ourselves, but instead as moments to help and serve others.

Recently I got to experience this more fully as I was put in charge of helping put on the pre-service event for my churches Christmas Eve service. As I got to the church with a car full of goodies and treats, I was still unsure how me and the other lady helping with the pre-service were going to pull it off. We were told there would be a few volunteers that would be able to help, but what we didn’t know was how much they would crush it. As me and the other lady unloaded our cars, a few volunteers, some of the guys I have become great friends with at church, showed up to help.

In an instant, tables were set, treats were out, cakes were cut, and everything was ready to roll as the first guests started to show up. Not only did these guys set up, but they manned the tables, greeted guests, and made it one epic start to a great service. They offered so much helpful insights and made this Christmas Eve experience something for everyone to remember. They were a giant help and I couldn’t have asked for more. In fact, I honestly asked for none of it but they went above and beyond with helping.

Knowing these guys for a couple years now, this was not out of the ordinary for them. They are constantly serving at the church and freely give their time to help those around them. I am honored to call them friends and they encourage me to be the best version of myself. They are the friends that I am glad are surrounding me for all seasons of life. These are the friends we all need in our life.

Do you have these friends in your life? Better yet, are you this type of friend for someone else?

Culture

The Year of ASK Part 3

I’m not sure about you, but if I had to choose between a toxic or healthy culture, I choose healthy everyday.  The real question is, if you find yourself in a place that breeds distrust, anxiety, and broken teams, how can you counteract that and fight against that toxic culture?  Today we are going to look at the third thing we need to do to start shaping and shifting the culture of where we find ourself.  If you missed the first post… just click here, and if you missed the second post… click here.

We are finally at the K in the year of ASK.  The K is by far the hardest yet most rewarding step in this whole process.  The K stands for Keep moving forward.  Keep pressing into those relationships we have been building by asking questions and commenting on what we are seeing.  When we ask those questions and focus on the relationship over the opportunity, it starts to shift and shape the culture.  When we comment on things we are seeing others do, those actions, if positive, get repeated or, if negative, stop happening.  

The K is difficult because we want to see instant results, but real culture shifting ideas and actions don’t always happen overnight.  Culture shifting ideas and actions take time.  We need to constantly be pressing into those relationships we are building because we don’t know what is going on in the other persons life.  We don’t know what story they are living and what is happening behind the curtain.

No matter a persons title, position, or circumstance, they have a story that needs to be heard, and the only way to do that is by living out the year or ASK.